A pupil from Egham's ACS International School has joined others in witnessing first hand the work of an organisation dedicated to providing eye care to impoverished communities worldwide.

Niamh Rya from the school in London Road joined students from other ACS schools in Hillingdon, Cobham and Qatar visiting the Sankara Nethralaya Hospital in Chennai, India where they saw a number of procedures including an operation where a nine-month-old baby had a cataract removed.

The hospital is partnered with Orbis - the organisation the students had teamed up with.

The students also visited the Elite School of Optometry, where they learned how to spot vision loss and how children’s eyes are tested at school screenings funded by the charity.

Niamh and fellow students Raquel Garcia, Kate Miller, Simon Ogundare and Fiona Joseph - who are all aged 15 to 17 - have produced blogs and photos from their trip, used by Orbis to raise awareness of its crucial work.

Niamh said: “To be able to experience first hand the impact of Orbis’s work in Chennai was such an amazing opportunity. It was incredible to see children with life-altering disabilities smiling from ear-to-ear whenever they were with the Orbis team – it was clear how much they valued their help. This trip has definitely motivated me to pursue a career in medicine.”

In the last few days of their trip, the students attended eye care screenings at a local school for children with cerebral palsy and autism. Students also spent time at the hospital with families and patients who had been treated to hear about their experiences and the positive impact the treatment has had on their lives.

Nilly Sutton, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Orbis UK, commented: “This years’ trip was once again a great success. All the students have been a great help throughout their internship and it’s extremely encouraging to see young people wanting to play their part in world health issues.

"Orbis is extremely grateful for this partnership with ACS and for all of the students from the schools who continue to enthuse countless others to join us in the fight against avoidable blindness.”